Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

Reviewed By Hawkboy
Posted 10/23/99 16:02:52

"Roger Ebert writes this and then dares to criticize movies?"
3 stars (Just Average)

Alright, I admit I rented this movie for the wrong reasons. I'd seen a couple Russ Meyer films, and they were exciting, to say the least. And this one's supposed to be his masterpiece. Piffle, I say. It's an interesting portrait of the sixties, but man, oh man, is it stupid.

So, anyway, three girls with large breasts go off to Hollywood, because they're in a band and they want to make it big. Plus, one of them has an aunt who lives out there and is a famous designer or something. She too has large breasts. The large-breasted aunt introduced the large-breasted band and their sissy male friend to the CRAZY 1960's flower-power scene of LA. They are all corrupted by it. Lots of crazy shit happens. It all ends badly for our large-breasted protagonists.

If you've read this last paragraph, you'll realise that Russ Meyer likes his breasts big. He also likes wicked-fast editing (MTV would not exist without him) and corny dialogue. The movie itself is a loose parody of "The Valley of the Dolls", a famous book and movie about girls trying to make it in LA. That book was not as good, however, for the author foolishly left out the Z-Man. Yes, the Z-Man is what makes this movie the exciting feverish cornucopia of sex, drugs, and rock and roll that it is. The Z-Man (apparently based on Phil Spector, though I kinda hope not - I have respect for Phil) is the central figure in the topsy-turvy world that our large-breasted heroes are enveloped in, and he is a sinister figure with a dark secret and a really sissy way of talking. He's gay, I think. Or is he?

When Roger Ebert and Mr. Meyer were writing this, I bet they were laughing their asses off, because there are some of the most ludicrous and senseless plot twists I've ever seen. I can imagine the writing sessions:

Russ: Let's make this guy lose feeling in his legs!

Roger: Let's make this guy a woman in disguise!

Russ: And he'll kill everyone!

Roger: Hey, we haven't had any nude scenes in a few pages.

Russ: You read my mind.

Roger: I like big tits.

Russ: Me too!

Roger: I like to squeeze them.

Russ: <drools> boobies, boobies, boobies.

This movie hasn't aged well, I'm afraid. Unlike "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!", an earlier effort of Meyer's, which has managed to stay brilliantly satirical, BVD is goofy, a little sad, and curiously and unnecessarily violent at the end. But it is entertaining, in a sick, looking at a car crash kind of way. It's marvelously filmed, the dialogue is hilariously bad ("You will drink the black sperm of my vengeance!" - Greatest movie line. EVER. Fuck you, "Rosebud".) and the performances are cute and wooden. It's like an Ed Wood movie with big tits.

Watch this movie with a few friends and a few beers, and it's the greatest movie ever made, for that particular evening. But, just as is the case with most one-night things, you look back on it in the morning, and you feel really dirty. At least this movie doesn't have the risk of giving you the clap.

If you want a funny Russ Meyer movie, rent "Pussycat". If you want big boobs and lots of sex, rent "Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens". This movie's kind of in between. It's the Jan Brady of the Russ Meyer catalog.

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